Posts Tagged ‘open repositories’

Peter Burnhill on Open Access in the UK

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Peter Burnhill

“A scholar’s positive contribution is measured by the sum of the original data that he contributes. Hypotheses come and go but data remain.”
in Advice to a Young Investigator (1897) Santiago Ramón y Cajal (Nobel Prize winner, 1906)

2 traditions/mentalities co-exist in Information Science:

  1. Document tradition: signifying record-ness
  2. Computational tradition: various uses of formal technique

There are non-convergent mentalities working to build the ‘digital library’: modernisation of library services  and infrastructure to access complex databases.

Emergence of Digital Library: Information Science
“Approaches based on a concern with documents, with signifying records: archives, bibliography, documentation, librarianship, records management, and so forth
“approaches based on uses for formal techniques, whether mechanical (such as punch cards and data-processing equipment) or mathematical (as in algorithmic procedures).”

Semantics of Open Repositories & Interoperability
R is for Repository

  • “university-based institutional repository is a set of services … for the management and dissemination of digital materials created by the institution & its community members. … organizational commitment to the stewardship of these digital materials, including long-term preservation where appropriate, as well as organization and access … (C. Lynch, 2003)
  • Digital repository differs from other digital collections in that content is deposited, whether by content creator, owner or third party; architecture manages content as well as metadata; repository offers a minimum set of basic services; must be sustainable & trusted, well-supported & well-managed. Digital Repositories Review (R.Heery and S.Anderson, 2005)

O is for Open

  • OA (for publications) not the only ‘open’ policy:
  • OER: Open Educational Resources
  • Open means ‘not closed’: making teaching & learning materials visible
  • Open CourseWare – often as open stack of webpages
  • Open Data
  • Datasets tradition (IASSIST); ‘open/privilege access to databases; open
  • Open Source Software
  • OSS has its own way of doing things

Key questions

  • Are Repositories the (only) way to support an Open Agenda?
  • Is Open really what Repositories are for?
  • Is this usage just intended to help us avoid issues of IP and access management?

Should the focus be on:

  • Interoperability between Repositories?
  • Interoperability of Repositories with the wider Internet?

Interoperability Challenges & Strategies

  • Whose strategy, and towards what purpose?
  • ‘within & for the research & education sector’? Or beyond?
  • For the institution, the UK, EU, global anybody; for the researcher?
  • For the machine as user [“Provider/Consumer”]?

The talk is available on the dedicated web page.

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OR2010 – Keynote by David De Roure

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

David De Roure, University of Southampton

David De Roure from the University of Southampton opened the conference with a keynote on linked data and repositories, spotlighting the myExperiment initiative. myExperiment is a  collaborative environment where scientists can safely publish their work flows and experiment plans, share them with groups and find those of others. This means that work flows and other digital objects (called “Packs”) can be swapped, sorted and searched like photos and videos on the Web. But myExperiment is a lot more than a social network for scientists as it is designed around the real needs of scientists and with the aim of fostering the next generation of scientists to contribute more actively to a pool of research activities, share outcomes and build relationships along the way.

The team behind myExperiment has embraced linked data as a way of bringing additional value-add (albeit requiring some extra work), in that data published on the web can be interlinked to help researchers spot patterns and make important connections across their own and other disciplinary boundaries more easily.

The keynote is available at: More information on myExperiment can be found at:

myExperiment brings together the universities of Manchester and Southampton through funding from: JISC Virtual Research Environments and Repositories programmes; EPSRC myGrid and e-Research South platform awards;
Microsoft Research Technical Computing Initiative and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Bookmark and Share @ Open Repositories 2010

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010


Finally arrived in a sweltering Madrid for the Open Repositories 2010 conference after some delays due to a family attempting to board a dog (yes, I said a dog) and a considerable amount of luggage along with just a couple of kids!

Hospitality should begin with a capital “H” as hotel staff and conference organisers go out of their way to assist and make sure I get to where I am supposed to get (apparently there are two congress centres here in Madrid, which is good to know ) and take minds off the heat.

BTW – You will be pleased to hear that our four-legged friend, who behaved impeccably throughout the flight, landed safely in Madrid undisturbed by the delay. I later discovered that the airline in question supports the passage across Europe of our canine friends  super-trained to sniff out illegal substances (thus supporting an EU project whose name escapes me). It just leaves me wondering what some of the low cost airlines might make of all this. In for a penny, in for a pound? Perhaps a bit more than a penny.

Off to catch up on some of the conference highlights thus far.

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